Moravia-Silesia region

31. 8. 2011

Located in the eastern-most part of the Czech Republic, the region offers excellent access to industrial areas in southern Poland and eastern Czech Republic.

Geography

The Moravian-Silesian region is located in the most eastern part of the Czech Republic about 300 km from Prague. It is only an hour by plane, 3 hours by train or 4 hours by car to travel from Prague. The region is situated almost in the centre of the European area on borders of three countries – Austria, Poland, and Slovakia.

The western, eastern and partly southern parts of the region are mountainous. Hrubý Jeseník with the highest mountain Praděd (1, 492 m) forms the western borders of the region. The Beskydy mountains with the highest peaks Lysá (1,323 m) and Radhošť (1,129 m) create natural boarders with Slovakia and Poland in the southeast and east. The south western part of the region consists of unspoilt areas called Nízký Jeseník and Oderské vrchy. There are also lowland areas, particularly in the southern–most edge of Silesia. 

Economy

The Ostrava region is one of the most industrialised parts of the Czech Republic with extensive mining, metallurgy, steel and oil processing and heavy engineering activities. Many foreign investors have already set up their production facilities in the region and take advantage of skilled labour force. The region suffered from heavy pollution in the past but extensive cleanup programs in recent years have improved the environment significantly. Besides the heavy industry, sectors such as pharmaceutical industry, food processing, production of building materials or automotive have been steadily developing. Restructuring in traditional industries has been shifting the region`s industrial base to light manufacturing – automotive, metalworking and electrical engineering. The Business and Innovation Centre and the Science and Technology Park in Ostrava were set up to keep the new industries growing.

The most industrialised part of the region is the Ostrava-Karviná district mainly due to large deposits of raw materials such as bituminous coking coal. The region is the nation-wide centre of metallurgy. Moreover, almost the entire output of bituminous coal comes from this area. A whole range of companies in the region are involved in generation and distribution of electricity, gas and water, production of transport vehicles, chemicals, chemical products and man-made fibres.

Ostrava – the third largest city in the Czech Republic – is the business, educational and cultural centre not only for the region but for the whole north eastern Czech Republic. Ostrava and other adjacent towns together constitute a metropolitan area with a population of over 500,000 inhabitants.

Transportation

The Moravian-Silesian region lies on the historic route between the north and the south of Europe – between the Baltic and the Mediterranean seas. It occupies a strategic location at the crossroad of three states - the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia and its location offers a convenient starting point for transport connections to Eastern Europe. Transit European roads and rail routes go through the Moravian-Silesian region, the Leos Janacek airport in Ostrava is the air gateway of the region.

Cross-border cooperation

The cross-border cooperation between the CR, Slovakia and Poland is performed within the Beskydy euroregion. Covering some areas in the Moravian Wallachia, Orava and Silesia regions, it was declared in 2000. On the Czech side it comprises seven associations of towns and villages from the former Frýdek-Místek and Karviná districts. Covering an area of 4,845 sq km, the Euroregion has a total of 930,000 inhabitants. The capital towns of the Euroregion inthe CR is Frýdek-Místek. The main objectives of this international association include joint activities aimed at the region''s development and closer ties between inhabitants and institutions.

In 1998, the Těšín Silesia Euroregion occupying the north-eastern part of the Czech Republic and the adjacent area in Poland was established. The area of the Euroregion is demarcated by the Karviná District and the border areas of the Frýdek-Místek District and the Silesian Voivodeship. The Euroregion''s main activities include the development of tourism, transport and environmental protection, cultural exchange and joint business, trade, eductational or sport projects.

One of the most active euroregions is located in the Moravian–Silesian region – Silesia Euroregion established in 1998 and being awarded by the Association of European Boarder Regions.

Human resources

The Moravian-Silesian region is the most populated region in the CR (almost 1,250,000 inhabitants) however, the number of municipalities places the region among the regions with the lowest number of settlements. The region is highly urbanised – nearly 50 % of the population live in large cities – and it has the highest population density in the Czech Republic. The labour force in the region is highly skilled due to a long and rich industrial tradition and a high quality educational system. The Technical University of Ostrava – VSB grew from a mining school by adding other faculties such as the Faculty of electrical engineering. The University of Ostrava teaches humanities and social sciences as well as natural sciences. The Silesian University in Opava specialises in business administration, arts and science (including computer science and physics).

Region`s website